19 Replies Latest reply on Aug 20, 2015 6:53 AM by A.T. Romano

    Frame Size Issue/Frustrating Black Bars

    ASPproductions

      I've been transferring  a lot of old VHS tapes using Blackmagic Video Recorder.  The video footage is saved as mp4 files.  When I import the video content into Adobe Premiere Elements 11 it automatically places "black bars" on the top and bottom.  The bars also appear when I export the video as a quicktime video.  Here's what's interesting.  When I click on the video properties in Adobe Premiere it shows that the image size is 720 x 240 even though the image size was 720 x 480 when I uploaded the footage using Blackmagic.  Also, in Adobe Premiere Elements it shows that the pixel aspect ratio is .5000.  When I create a new project in Adobe the only preset that comes close to what I have is 720 x 480 with a pixel aspect ratio of .9091.  I'm assuming this is the reason for the black bars displayed on the top and bottom of my footage.  In any case, I'm hoping there is easy fix to this problem, aside from scaling or cropping the video? Thank you for your time and help, I appreciate it!

        • 1. Re: Frame Size Issue/Frustrating Black Bars
          A.T. Romano Level 7

          ASPproductions

           

          I am not sure what the Blackmagic Video Recorder is giving you behind that .mp4 file extension.

           

          1. Premiere Elements 11 is designed to have the project set the project settings automatically based on its analysis of the first file dragged to the project's Timeline. When, it cannot, it give you its default project preset which is 1920 x 1080 @ 29.97 interlaced frames per second. In that type of situation, you set the project preset manually before you import the file into the project.

           

          2. But what to set? You say that the frame size is supposed to be 720 x 480, but the project is recognizing it as 720 x 240 which has a frame aspect ratio of 4:3 and pixel aspect ratio of 0.5. My first impression is to use evaluate your Blackmagic Video Recorder settings.

           

          3. Possible manuvers maybe to get around the problems..

           

          A. Double check and revise your Blackmagic Video Recorder settings.

           

          B. Convert the Blackmagic .mp4 that you have to H.264.mp4 (640 x 480) with a constant frame rate (29.97 progressive frames per second) in the free HandBrake program.

          https://handbrake.fr/

          and then determine if you can get that into a Premiere Elements 11 project with manually set project preset of

          NTSC

          FLIP

          Flip Mino and Ultra 29_97p

           

          How to for manually set project preset....

           

          • Open the project to the Expert workspace, and go to File Menu/New Project and Change Settings.
          • In Change Settings, set the project preset to the FLIP setting mentioned. OK out of there.
          • In the New Project dialog that opens, rename the project and make sure to
            have a check mark next to "Force Selected Project Setting on This
            Project". OK out of there.

          Back in the Expert workspace, import your source media using Add Media/ choice

           

          Let us see if either of those approaches will work for you without going deeper on what Blackmagic Video Recorder is giving you.

          We will be watching for your progress as your schedule permits.

           

          Any questions or need clarification, please ask.

           

          Thank you.

           

          ATR

          Add On...we will get to QuickTime export as soon as the import issue is resolved.
          • 2. Re: Frame Size Issue/Frustrating Black Bars
            ASPproductions Level 1

            Thanks for the quick and informative response!

             

            I did check whether I can configure the settings on BlackMagic and its already set to record video at 720x480. Of course, I can adjust the video screen to any dimension I want.  See the snap shot photo of Blackmagic.Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 7.21.02 PM.png 

            Now, there is nothing that I can do in terms of manually configuring how I want to export my video.  All I know is that the file is automatically saved onto my desktop as the following:

             

            Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 7.23.38 PM.png

            I did notice that the dimensions are 656 X 480! Not sure why it is set that way.  But when I import this same file into Adobe Premiere Elements 11 and I click the video properties it shows that the image size is 720 x 240.  Also, note the black bars on the top and bottom of my footage:

            Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 7.34.39 PM.png

            Not sure what project setting I can use and there's no way I can customize the project settings on Adobe Premiere Elements 11.  Seems like the only solution is to crop/scale the video which I don't want to do.  How would I adjust the picture settings to 640 x 480 on Handbrake?  Maybe I can try that.  So far I am able to select H.264 with a constant frame rate (29.97 progressive frames per second). 

             

            Thanks again for further guidance!

            • 3. Re: Frame Size Issue/Frustrating Black Bars
              A.T. Romano Level 7

              ASPproductions

               

              Thanks for the follow up.

               

              Please try the HandBrake conversion as described. If you need any help with HandBrake on that, please let me know. I am not sure how HandBrake is going to look at this video. I will post a HandBrake step by step for this if needed.

               

              In the end, you may need to

              a. set your project preset manually for the FLIP setting mentioned

              b. disable the Default Scale to Frame size in preferences (Edit Menu/Preferences/General)

              c. import your video and scale it in the Edit area monitor to fill the 640 x 480 space which was established as per the project preset....you scale the video so that it just fills to the point of no black borders...no doubt a compromising zooming in.

               

              In your BlackMagic settings, what are you setting for Device? What is supposed to be the frame rate there? What are those Recording Options all about, especially the one you have selected - Save videos into _____minute files?

               

              We will be watching for further developments as your schedule permits.

               

              ATR

              • 4. Re: Frame Size Issue/Frustrating Black Bars
                ASPproductions Level 1

                Hi Romano,

                 

                -Having trouble with HandBrake settings.  Would you mind providing a step-by-step procedure?  Thanks.

                 

                -I tried disabling the default scale to frame and/or scaling the video but the zoom does definitely compromise the quality of the video footage.

                 

                -There are no settings for BlackMagic that I can adjust.  Nothing regarding frame rates, etc.  The Recording Options are meant to capture your footage in batches, e.g., capture and drop videos every 10 minutes or so, etc.  I'll attach a link so you can access the short .pdf manual of the software that I'm using so you can take a look at it.  http://documents.blackmagicdesign.com/VideoRecorder/VideoRecorderMacManual.pdf  Basically, I attached an old VCR to an A/V to USB adapter that connects to my computer.  I capture the footage with BlackMagic.  The only thing that I can adjust are the mb/s (determining the quality of video) and the size of the frame.  Max is 720x480.  Also, the device I want for playback, iPod small, iPod Large, YouTube, iPhone, Apple TV or Full Res (which is the 720x480 image size).

                 

                 

                Thanks again for your help.

                Albert

                • 5. Re: Frame Size Issue/Frustrating Black Bars
                  A.T. Romano Level 7

                  Albert

                   

                  The interesting part is going to be how HandBrake will interpret the properties of the Blackmagic recording.

                  For now, I will assume that you have 656 x 480 @ 29.97 progressive frames per second.

                   

                  1. Download and install HandBrake.

                  https://handbrake.fr/

                   

                  2. Open HandBrake to its workspace, and first setup the fields under its Picture Tab.

                  HandBrake2after1.JPG

                  Click on Source Tab/File to browse to and select what I am calling 656 x 480 @ 29.97 progressive frames per second.

                  Destination: set for save location of the end product H.264.mp4

                  Output Settings. Container = MP4

                  Under the Picture Tab, if 640 does not appear in Width field, then type 640 into that field

                  Leave everything else as is for now.

                   

                  3. Click on the Video Tab.

                  HandBrake2.JPG

                  Set Video Codec = H.264.(x264)

                  Framerate (FPS) = 29.97 (do not use the Same As Source choice there)

                  Make sure to dot the choice of Constant Framerate.

                  Leave everything else as is for now.

                   

                  Click on the green Start button at the top left of the workspace in order to start the conversion.

                  Watch the progress bar at the bottom left of the workspace for the message Queue Finished. That indicates conversion completed.

                   

                  Then import that H.264.mp4 @ 29.97 progressive frames per second into Premiere Elements which has the project preset set manually to

                  NTSC

                  FLIP

                  Flip Mino and Ultra 29_97p

                  See post 1 for details.

                   

                  Looking forward to the results when your time permits. Curious how HandBrake is going to interpret this footage. Any questions as you progress through the above, please stop and ask.

                   

                  Thanks.

                   

                  ATR

                  • 6. Re: Frame Size Issue/Frustrating Black Bars
                    ASPproductions Level 1

                    ATR:

                     

                    I gave your specific directions a shot and imported the newly created file via Handbrake to Adobe Premiere Elements but the problem was not resolved.  Perhaps as a last effort solution you wouldn't mind trying it on your end just to be sure I'm doing it correctly? Not sure how I can attach the footage.  Its only 1.4 MB. 

                     

                    Thanks again.

                     

                    Albert

                    • 7. Re: Frame Size Issue/Frustrating Black Bars
                      A.T. Romano Level 7

                      ASPproductions

                       

                      Thanks for the follow up.

                       

                      Are you OK sending the problem clip in a DropBox or Google Drive link posted in a post in your thread?

                      You are posting in a public forum so do not send anything that would invade your privacy. I have not worked with DropBox for these sendings but I have with Google Drive. So, if you need how to use for Google Drive, I can write the instructions in a reply in your thread.

                       

                      Once I have the copy of the sample of the problem clip, I will give it a workout in Premiere Elements.

                       

                      Thanks.

                       

                      ATR

                      • 8. Re: Frame Size Issue/Frustrating Black Bars
                        ASPproductions Level 1

                        Hi ATR:

                         

                        I'm OK with sending a short slip.  I have DropBox and Google Drive, but I'm not familiar with how to send files via Google Drive.  I'd appreciate instructions for this, thanks. 

                         

                        Albert

                        • 9. Re: Frame Size Issue/Frustrating Black Bars
                          A.T. Romano Level 7

                          Albert

                           

                          Google Drive

                           

                          1. Go to Google Drive - Cloud Storage & File Backup for Photos, Docs & More, and click on screen "Go To Google Drive" Tab.

                           

                          2. In the workspace that opens, top left, click on New Tab (red), and then File Upload in the menu that appears there.

                           

                          3. In the File Upload dialog, browse to and select the file you want to send. Then click Open in that File Upload dialog.

                          Wait for the uploading process to complete as evidenced by the progress bar at the bottom right of the workspace.

                           

                          4. Right click the file's thumbnail in the display, and select Share from the drop down menu.

                           

                          5. You should see a Share with others dialog. In this dialog, click on Get Shareable Link (top right of dialog). In that dialog, you should now see a link

                          under the "Anyone with the link can view".

                           

                          6. Copy that link and post it in one of your replies.

                           

                          Please let us know if that works for you.

                           

                          Thanks.

                           

                          ATR

                          • 10. Re: Frame Size Issue/Frustrating Black Bars
                            ASPproductions Level 1

                            ATR,

                             

                            I followed your directions, so below is the link.  Please let me know if you're able to download the video footage.  Thanks!

                             

                            TEST FOOTAGE.mp4 - Google Drive

                            • 11. Re: Frame Size Issue/Frustrating Black Bars
                              A.T. Romano Level 7

                              ASPproductions

                               

                              Thanks for the sending. I have downloaded it, and I am in the process of looking at in various versions of Premiere Elements.

                               

                              Please confirm what version of Premiere Elements and what computer operating system is involved.

                              Also, please confirm....if you take the same sample that you sent and import it into your Premiere Elements, do you have the problem?

                               

                              To be continued.

                               

                              Thanks.

                               

                              ATR

                              • 12. Re: Frame Size Issue/Frustrating Black Bars
                                ASPproductions Level 1

                                Hi A.T. Ramon,

                                 

                                I'm glad you were able to download the footage.

                                 

                                I have Adobe Premiere Elements 11 and I use a MAC OS X, Version 10.8.5. 

                                 

                                Yes.  When I take the sample that I sent you and import it into Premiere Elements I still see the black bars on the top and bottom.

                                 

                                What are you seeing on your end?

                                 

                                Thanks,

                                Albert

                                • 13. Re: Frame Size Issue/Frustrating Black Bars
                                  A.T. Romano Level 7

                                  Albert

                                   

                                  First...My Premiere Elements 11 Properties is not displaying the same as yours

                                  What I am seeing:

                                  Rabbit1.JPG

                                  I am seeing a Pixel Aspect Ratio = 1.0 with 720 x 480 image size.

                                  Compare with your 720 x 240 with Pixel Aspect Ratio = 0.5 - refer to your post 2.

                                   

                                  If I take your file into the project and let the project automatically set the project preset, it does not recognizes the properties and give me the default project preset which is 1920 x 1080 @ 29.97 interlaced frames per second. And, with the Default Scale to Frame Size in effect, the project automatically tried to scale your 720 x 480 (PAR = 1.0) into the 1920 x 1080 space in the Edit area monitor. End result is image with black borders to the left and right of the image.

                                   

                                  MediaInfo readout of the file includes

                                  720 x 480

                                  29.97 progressive frames per second

                                  Pixel Aspect Ratio = 1.0

                                   

                                  Since you do not have 640 x 480 with Pixel Aspect Ratio = 1.0 or 720 x 480 with Pixel Aspect Ratio = 0.9091 and cannot get Blackmagic to provide those settings, then...(provided we can reconcile our Pixel Aspect Ratio differences)...

                                   

                                  1. Open a new project to the Expert workspace

                                  2. Go to File Menu/New/Project and set the project preset manually to

                                  NTSC

                                  FLIP

                                  Flip Mino and Ultra 29_97p

                                  3. Go to Edit Menu/Preferences/General and remove the check mark next to Default Scale to Frame Size.

                                  4. Then import your file into the project with the project's Add Media/Files and Folders/Project Asset and from there drag your file to the Timeline.

                                   

                                  You now have an image filling the Edit monitor space. Click on the image in the monitor to bring up the image's bounding box. If you want to scale the width separate from the height, with that clip highlighted, go to Applied Effects Tab/Applied Effects Palette/Motion Panel expanded and remove the check mark next to Constrain proportions.

                                   

                                  It might be a good idea to consult with Blackmagic support to determine how you can have control of the capture settings.

                                   

                                  We will be watching for further developments.

                                   

                                  Thanks for the sending.

                                   

                                  ATR

                                  • 14. Re: Frame Size Issue/Frustrating Black Bars
                                    ASPproductions Level 1

                                    ATR,

                                     

                                    I just realized that the clip properties of the video from post 2 does show 720 x 240 and the clip properties of the video from the one that I sent you/uploaded on Google Drive does have an image size of 720 x 480.  In any case, I'm still wondering why the bars on the top and bottom show up on the clip that has an image size of 720 x 480 even though the project settings in Adobe Premiere Elements 11 allows for a 720 x 480 framework.  In other words, when I open a new project in Adobes Elements 11 with the following setting: NTSC-DV-Standard 48Hz then why won't it open the footage without the black bars?  Shouldn't it fit exactly within the frame if the video footage is 720 x 480?

                                     

                                    Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 6.54.31 PM.png

                                     

                                    Notice that the footage doesn't fit according to the project settings.  Its a mystery why this is the case!  What happens when you try to open the footage I sent you as NTSC-DV-Standard 48Hz?  Is there any way to resolve the issue without scaling?  Do you know if the latest version of Adobe Elements 13 will resolve this?  If so, I'm willing to purchase the upgrade.

                                     

                                    Thanks again for your time and help.

                                     

                                    Albert

                                    • 15. Re: Frame Size Issue/Frustrating Black Bars
                                      A.T. Romano Level 7

                                      Albert

                                       

                                      Premiere Elements 13/13.1 will behave the same way.

                                       

                                      The project preset for NTSC DV Standard is set for 720 x 480 using pixel aspect ratio = 0.9091.

                                      The properties of your video do not match that - you have 720 x 480 using pixel aspect ratio = 1.0.

                                       

                                      Interpret Footage and changing the pixel aspect ratio from 1.0 to 0.9091

                                       

                                      One approach you could explore....

                                      1. Make sure that you have set the project preset manually so that you do not end up with the default project preset of 1080i.

                                      Manually set the project preset for NTSC DV Standard according to the following scheme and then import your video into it.

                                       

                                      • Open the project to the Expert workspace, and go to File Menu/New Project and Change Settings.
                                      • In Change Settings, set the project preset to NTSC DV Standard. OK out of there.
                                      • In the New Project dialog that opens, rename the project and make sure to have a check mark next to "Force Selected Project Setting on This Project". OK out of there.
                                      • Back in the Expert workspace, import your source media using Add Media/Files and Folders/Project Assets

                                       

                                      2. In Project Assets, right click the thumbnail for the file, select Interpret Footage from the pop up menu that appears, and change the Pixel Aspect Ratio from

                                      Square Pixels (1.0) to D1/DV NTSC (0.9091)

                                      Pixels.JPG

                                      Please refer to Adobe document on pixel aspect ratios.

                                      https://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-elements/using/aspect-ratios-field-options.html

                                       

                                      Does that work better for you?

                                       

                                      Any questions or need clarification, please ask.

                                       

                                      Thanks.

                                       

                                      ATR

                                      • 16. Re: Frame Size Issue/Frustrating Black Bars
                                        ASPproductions Level 1

                                        ATR:

                                         

                                        Thanks for the useful advice.  This, I'm happy to say, worked for this particular footage! Adjusting the pixel aspect ratio eliminated the bars.  Now, I was wondering what would you suggest with the video footage that has the following properties:

                                         

                                        Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 12.38.13 PM.png

                                        • 17. Re: Frame Size Issue/Frustrating Black Bars
                                          A.T. Romano Level 7

                                          Albert

                                           

                                          Could you send a sample (720 x 480 PAR 0.5000) via the Google Drive link in your post?

                                           

                                          Did you try the Interpret Footage approach on this one also?

                                           

                                          ATR

                                          • 18. Re: Frame Size Issue/Frustrating Black Bars
                                            ASPproductions Level 1

                                            Hi A.T. Roman,

                                             

                                            I think I've figured out the solution for the video footage (720 x 240 PAR .50).  I created a new project with the  project preset for NTSC DV Standard 720 x 480 using pixel aspect ratio = 0.9091.  I then interpreted the footage and set it to Conform to PAR .9091.   I noticed this squished my footage, but then I decided to solve this issue per one of your posts.  I clicked on Applied Effects, selected Motion, disabled Constrain proportions and simply adjusted the height without losing video information by zooming in, etc.

                                             

                                            Thanks for all of your help in figuring out a solution to this frustrating problem ;-)

                                             

                                            If anything does come up I'll be sure to let you know!

                                             

                                            Best Wishes,

                                            Albert

                                            • 19. Re: Frame Size Issue/Frustrating Black Bars
                                              A.T. Romano Level 7

                                              Albert

                                               

                                              Wonderful news. Glad you sorted through the troubleshooting details to resolve the aspect ratio issue. Well done.

                                               

                                              If Blackmagic has a forum, it would be important to determine if you can get information there on how to have more control over those video recording settings. To date I have not been able to locate online detailed information on that.

                                               

                                              Best wishes moving forward with your Premiere Elements projects.

                                               

                                              ATR